Compare free basic bank accounts (Fee-free) UK 2021

Discover what a basic bank account is and how they compare to other types of bank accounts.

Basic bank accounts help those with poor credit scores get a bank account. Basic bank accounts are what they say they are. They come with no strings attached, frills or anything else you would associate with a standard current account. You put your money in and you take it out. They are often fee-free.

Compare basic bank accounts

Table: sorted by interest rate, promoted deals first
Name Product Ratings Account fees Funding requirement Interest (AER) Arranged overdraft Incentive Representative example Link
Cashminder
Not yet rated
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
N/A
Current account switch service guarantee badge
View details
Cash Account
Not yet rated
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
N/A
View details
Basic Cash Account
Not yet rated
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
N/A
Current account switch service guarantee badge
View details
FlexBasic
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
N/A
Current account switch service guarantee badge
View details
Foundation
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
N/A
Free 24/7 Emergency Cash Service to withdraw up to £300 for online and telephone banking customers or £60 if not.
Current account switch service guarantee badge
View details
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What is a basic bank account?

Basic bank accounts are accounts that are stripped of all features. These are made available to customers with poor credit scores. You can check your credit score here.

With these accounts, you will still be able to set up direct debits and standing orders. In most cases, you’ll also be given a debit card and access to online and telephone banking.

There are no monthly fees with these accounts. However, you shouldn’t expect to earn interest on credit balances, receive an overdraft or be able to take advantage of any add-ons or cashback features.

Who can open a basic bank account?

The main selling point of basic bank accounts is that they have wider eligibility criteria. If you are a UK resident, you should be able to open one of these accounts.

Requirements to open a basic bank account

In most cases, you can open a basic bank account with proof of ID and proof of address. You’ll need to be at least 16 years old.

In some cases, you won’t need to pass a credit check to open an account. Even if you do, those with low credit scores are still likely to pass.

How to manage a basic bank account

Most basic bank accounts come with a debit card and online banking, just like regular bank accounts.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Relaxed eligibility criteria.
  • Debit cards and online banking are usually available.

Cons

  • All features and perks are stripped back.

The bottom line

Basic bank accounts are not as good as regular bank accounts. However, these can be a life-saver for those who get rejected for any other type of account due to a poor credit score.

Once you have started to fix your credit score, it is recommended to switch from a basic account to a regular bank account, so you can take advantage of the extra features available.

Frequently asked questions

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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